Tag Archives: Seafood

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Peso Da Regua Hardware Store

Hardware Store, Peso Da Regua, Portugal

Arriving in Peso Da Regua we parked the car and walked into the town which had interesting shops and houses with colourful tiled walls in bright blues, greens and yellows.

There were some of those old fashioned hardware stores that you rarely see in northern Europe anymore with merchandise spread across the pavement and items for sale hanging from string and hooks from the doors and windows.  we ventured inside and there was the smell of chemicals and oil and we poked around the dusty shelves and baskets of special offers and then feeling obliged to buy something selected some cheap tea-towels and having made our purchase nodded politely to the man behind the counter and left.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Cudillero Asturias

We sat and watched the activity in the street as several pilgrims made their weary way towards their overnight accommodation and our conversation turned to the prospect of perhaps tackling the route ourselves one day.  As the hikers made their way into the town I hoped for their sake that they had accommodation booked at sea level because the town is built into a natural cove and the buildings are stacked high, one upon each other, and after a long day on the road I doubt many would relish the prospect of a final last vertical climb.

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Northern Spain – Cudillero

Cudillero Asturias Spain

At the bottom of the steep hill here was a car park at the edge of the harbour so we parked there and walked around the stout walls of the port where waves were crashing in on one side but on the other everything was calm, local people were fishing and hauling kilo after kilo of fish out of the water and the fishing fleet was sleeping in the sheltered calm water.

It was quite wonderful, Cornwall with sunshine, Cornwall with abundant seafood restaurants and above all Cornwall with style!  The sea was an impossible to imagine blue with white surf and foam and drift wood and debris left randomly marooned amongst the rocks and the pebbles.

We walked the walls and congratulated the fishermen and women on the quantity and quality of their catch and then we left and made more progress towards the town, parking as close as we could before taking to the streets once more.

Suddenly Kim spotted what she declared to be a short-cut and set off into a long tunnel, at least three hundred metres long and inside of which was a fast flowing stream of water in a concrete channel flowing ebulliently towards the sea.  It pranced and jumped energetically and Kim declared that there must surely be a waterfall at the end of the gloomy route so we pressed on into the darkness towards the pin-prick of light at the other end.  Sadly she was spectacularly wrong and there was no surging dramatic fall of white water cascading down from the hillside and the path petered out rather disappointingly into an unremarkable set of steps which took us into the back of the town and back down again into the main square which it turns out is so picturesque that it makes it on to the front cover of the Dorling Kindersley travel guide book to Northern Spain…

Dorling Kindersley - Northern Spain

It was late afternoon and the sea food restaurants were beginning to close down for a short break but we selected a pavement bar and sat in the warm sunshine and decided to try the local Asturian speciality of Sidre!  As it turned out there is a special way of serving this traditional brew because it is natural and bottled without gas and the bottle must be held above the head allowing for a long vertical pour which requires considerable skill and accuracy and which causes the cider to be aerated when it splashes into the glass below. The waiter poured about five centimetres of the alcoholic apple juice into our glasses and waited for us to drink it and register our approval before repeating the dramatic pouring process again – several times!

We sat and watched the activity in the street as several pilgrims made their weary way towards their overnight accommodation and our conversation turned to the prospect of perhaps tackling the route ourselves one day.  As the hikers made their way into the town I hoped for their sake that they had accommodation booked at sea level because the town is built into a natural cove and the buildings are stacked high, one upon each other, and after a long day on the road I doubt many would relish the prospect of a final last vertical climb.

It was siesta time now and the little town was closing down for a snooze but we found a shop selling local produce that was defiantly staying open while everywhere around it shut their doors so we purchased a bottle of local Asturian wine and some bottles of  beer and then made our way back to the car and then to the hotel.

There was a glorious late afternoon sunshine now that was bathing the terrace of the hotel in warming rays so while Kim rested in the room I sat outside and made notes about the day and then joined by a pilgrim who talked about her day on the road and made me feel guilty.  I was sitting in the sun with a San Miguel next to my Seat Ibiza hire car and feeling tired when she had just walked twenty miles on these demanding undulating coastal roads.

As afternoon melted into evening we needed somewhere to eat and because I didn’t want to drive again we asked for a local recommendation.  The hotel owner pointed us in the direction of a local restaurant that he was at pains to point out was ‘non touristico’ – several times.  This could mean one of two things, it was either an expensive Michelin star establishment or it was the sort of cheap place we were looking for.  Luckily it turned out to be the cheap sort of place that we were looking for and we enjoyed an excellent and hearty local meal before returning to the Casona Selgas for our final night at the hotel.

Cudillero Asturias

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Seafood Dining…

Kim will eat mostly anything and Christine reluctantly finished hers but I would not describe Sue as a seafood enthusiast at the best of times and she really prefers her fish either in breadcrumbs or batter. 

I wouldn’t say that she is a fussy eater but when it comes to fish she doesn’t really care for things that slither, float, or crawl about the seabed so she pushed this ugly critter around the plate a couple of times and then tried to cover it up with her knife and fork in a way that we used to try and hide uneaten food as children.    It didn’t work then and it didn’t work now and this gastro incident was a serious setback in Sue’s journey towards more adventurous dining. 

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France, Beziers to Setê to Arles

Canal du Midi France Setê

“It’s not all pristine.  Proper ports temper grandeur with skulduggery.  There are chaps you wouldn’t want to meet other than in broad daylight. But walk the canal network, perhaps take a boat and then park yourself at any of the fish restaurants fronting the Canal Royal…”                                                                  Anthony Peregrine – The Telegraph Travel Supplement.

After a long day previously we slept late in a dark room blacked out by tight electric shutters and it was well past nine o’clock before we went downstairs and had an exceptionally good breakfast.  We were planning to drive to Arles today further east and there were a number of different options for the route so we debated these over our food but failed to come to any firm conclusions except that we would first of all go to Setê, a fishing port and holiday resort on the Mediterranean coast.

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Galicia, Corrubedu and Flaming Sambuca

Corrubedu Fishing Village Galicia

To reach Corrubedu was quite straight forward and half an hour later we drove into the unspoilt fishing village that had some new properties under construction but at its heart was a port and a backdrop of traditional houses and pavement restaurants that probably hadn’t changed very much in years.

Perhaps this was what Benidorm was like before the barbarian hordes from the north invaded fifty years or so ago and spoilt it.  In the port there were a collection of small colourful fishing boats, some had been left to rest but on others men were still working gutting and filleting fish accompanied by flocks of excitable seagulls.

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Northern Portugal, Caminha and Viano do Castelo

 Caminha

After a short while we came to Caminha, which is an ancient fortress town overlooking the river Minho and is rich in historical and architectural importance. It didn’t look too promising down on the river but a short walk to the centre revealed a most appealing town with manorial houses and medieval defensive walls, a Gothic church, and a very attractive main square with cafés and a 15th century clock tower, which was sadly covered in tarpaulin while they carried out repairs.  Especially interesting were the houses with colourful tiled walls in bright blues, greens and yellows.

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Portugal, River Douro and Seafood Dining

Peso do Regua

As we descended towards the Douro there was a change in the landscape as we entered the vine growing terraces of the grapes that produce the famous port wine.  At eight hundred and ninety seven kilometres the Douro is the eighth longest river in Western Europe (the eighteenth in all of Europe) and flows first through Spain and then Portugal and meets the Atlantic Ocean at Porto.

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